Data, Elections and Public Trust: How The Changing Information Landscape is Impacting Elections
In many parts of the world, the concept of democracy has been flattened to solely refer to elections. This makes elections incredibly important to the political health and stability of the country, as the main way through which citizens can exercise power over their leaders and impact the decisions made in their name. Unfortunately, for those who are interested in deraling democratic participation, this has made elections a target for both domestic and international manipulation. Specifically, countries and companies are spending vast amounts of money on shaping the data and infromation landscape that underpins our elections, using technology to impact how we relate to and participate in election processes and by extension our democracies. This masterclass will use the case of Kenya to map out the information ecosystem around contemporary election cycles, to evaluate the influence of money on creating a misinformation ecosystem, and to flag opportunities for advocacy and engagement that require urgent attention.